10/15 Montaña de Oro State Park
Just south of Morro Bay and Los Osos on the central coast is Montaña de Oro State Park with lots of hiking and mountain biking options. Rain was in the forecast for Sunday so we took our opportunity to get out for a hike on Saturday morning knowing that we'd be in for cool and gray skies. Pecho Valley Road, shown above winding between Monterrey Pines and eucalyptus trees, took us all the way to the south end of the park where the road ends at a locked gate. From here we could hike inland on a trail following Coon Creek or out to the bluffs. We chose the later.Our whole hike was probably less than 3 miles out and back but we spent alot of time tracing the deep cuts in the shore line. The bluffs pretty thoroughly exclude anyone making their way to the water's edge here. A thick layer of jumbled and upended sedimentary rock makes a cliff of at least 30 feet along the bluffs. This is topped with a more recent layer of rather loose crumbly erosion debris from the hills above the bluffs. That crumbly layer would daunt any adventurous bluff scrambler, and it's good to have some small beaches that people don't frequent. It keeps the local sea birds and aquatic mammals happy. I highly recommend heeding the posted warnings and keeping a little distance from the edge, and don't attempt to find your way down to the tempting small coves.
Still, there are many places to get a good look over the edge. We spent at least an hour watching the waves wash up the inlets to scramble the small rocks and heaps of kelp. The hard sedimentary rock juts out from under the soft top layer in many places forming shelves with tide pools. We spotted several Black Oystercatchers, sea birds with bright red beaks, poking around in the exposed puddles looking for lunch.
mrs. a go-go didn't have her long lens on the camera so we are short on zoom pictures of the action. There are lots of small sea cliff caves and funky small arches of rock. All good places for pirates to wash up.In spite of the gray day Montaña de Oro was having a smidge of Spring in the Fall.The poppies were making a show here and there among all the olive green coast scrub. Montaña de Oro is covered by gobs of trails headed in every direction and Morro Bay offers even more to the North. It will take lots of visits for us to explore them all.
If you go and are up for a burger lunch after your walk, don't miss Sylvester's in Los Osos. They make 'em sloppy with all sorts of tasty toppings. An excellent no nonsense lunch.